June 29, 2020
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to issue on Tuesday new quarantine guidelines for the country on Tuesday as Cebu City may remain under the enhanced community quarantine.
In a virtual press briefing on Monday, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said he did not want to preempt the President of what the new quarantine guidelines would be starting July 1.
"I don't want to preempt the announcement of the President tomorrow," he said when asked if Metro Manila would remain under the general community quarantine.
Every half of the month, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases comes up with a recommendation to Duterte on the possible quarantine classification of each province, highy urbanized city, and independent component city.
Metro Manila is among few areas in the country, which remains under GCQ.
Galvez hailed the action being taken by the local government units in Metro Manila to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"We have seen that even if we are under GCQ, I was very impressed with what our mayors have been doing, the seventeen mayors, they are collectively looking really on the stricter measures even in opening the businesses," he said.
He even compared what the Metro Manila mayors have been doing with the LGUs in Cebu.
"When I went to Cebu, I was very impressed that the implementation of Metro Manila is much, much stricter of what we have seen in Cebu," Galvez said.
Cebu City is the only place in the country which is under the enhanced community quarantine or lockdown. Its nearby Talisay City is under modified ECQ.
Asked if Cebu City is likely to remain under ECQ after June 30, Galvez said he did not want to preempt the President, but he acknowleged that "stringent restrictions" are needed due to increasing COVID-19 cases.
He noted that in a meeting with the doctors and LGUs in Cebu, they reported that the number of severe and critical COVID-19 cases continues to rise.
"In fact, including the rate of death rises also," he said, adding that the NTF expects that the number of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City could surge in two or three weeks, citing that this was the experience in Metro Manila in March 24 and April 13.
Galvez said they found out that when the ECQ was previously declared in Cebu City, it was not properly implemented.
He said this was the reason why Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año ordered the deployment of the police Special Action Force.
Currently, the official said the government is monitoring 19 barangays, which are under strict lockdown.
He said they even use drone and helicopters to ensure that restrictions are followed. Celerina Monte/DMS
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